The American Medical Assn. cautioned Congress against new bids to cut Medicare payments for imaging tests, warning that the initiative could reducing payments to primary care physicians and drive imaging services into more expensive hospital settings.
The AMA joined bipartisan efforts of members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, a Congressional subcommittee with broad oversight over several regulatory bodies including the FDA and Medicare, to fight Medicare Payment Advisory Commission cuts to reimbursement for imaging.
Last month MedPAC urged Congress to penalize providers of high-cost, low quality care and slash payments to private Medicare Advantage insurance providers.
To that end, the commission recommended several fixes, including discouraging redundant or unneeded diagnostic tests and requiring physicians to get approval prior to testing if they want to get Medicare reimbursement.
The AMA began circulating a draft letter to members of Congress last week urging them to reject MedPAC aimed at cutting back imaging services, Healthwatch reported.
In particular the doctors group takes issue with the pre-approval requirement for imaging reimbursement, as well as reduced payments for tests when two or more are conducted in the same visit and reduced payment when the same physician orders and performs the test.